Edited by Cheryl Chung and Aaron Maniam
The roads we take don’t always lead us to our final destination. Sometimes, the roads are filled with crevices and potholes. At other times, the roads may be smooth-sailing, but we question our decisions in taking these routes. Regardless of these decisions, they make who we are and influence how we will continue to traverse different roads in the future.
In the 2018 edition of The Birthday Book, contributors reflect on the paths they have chosen to take in their lives. More than just personal stories, these essays highlight the importance of resilience and the evolution of the political and social landscape in Singapore. The book compels readers to think of the complexity of the future roads we must take, as individuals, as a nation—because in sunny Singapore, no one road stays forever.
About the Editor
Cheryl thinks about the future. A lot. She can usually be found somewhere in the tangled web connecting strategic foresight, public policy, social innovation, and design. She currently heads the strategic planning and executive education departments at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, where she also teaches strategic foresight and governance. She is particularly interested in the intersection of technology, business, and regulation and how to build state capacity to embark on new, uncharted roads. She believes that while one can and should strategise and plan, ultimately the path is made by the walking and made meaningful.
Aaron regularly ponders where each lane starts and ends on the roads he takes—or if there even are lanes on the smaller tracks and trails. He is currently on study leave from the Singapore government, working on a PhD investigating different governments' strategies when adopting digital technology for policy, administration and delivery. From a multi-ethnic and multi-religious family, he facilitates inter-faith dialogues, volunteers at Mendaki and SINDA, and sits on the boards of several educational institutions. He was an avid competitive debater in a past life but now finds that issues have more than two sides, though he still believes deeply in conversation and collective discourse. Apart from the PhD and Birthday Book, his big project for 2018 has been to publish his second collection of poems.
How this book came together
In the spirit of civil society, the contributors contributed their work for no personal gain. The profits from the book sales will go towards the production and publishing costs, and The Birthday Book Collective, which will be operated in the spirit of a non-profit to support follow-up activities and outreach relating to the various ideas and causes that the contributors wrote about.
Bernadette Sim, Aaron Lee, Agatha Lee, Alison Dragon, Anh-Minh Do, Ariel Muller, Benjamin Mak, Cai Yinzhou, Caleb Leow, Cherie Lim-Tseng, Chow Yen-Lu, Ciara Yeo, Corinna Lim, Darren Ho, Divian Nair, Douglas O' Loughlin, Eddie Choo, Eirliani Abdul Rahman, Elaine L.E. Ho, Elaine Teo Mosimann, Eleanor Wong, Farouk, Goh Wei Leong, Grace Clapham, Harveen Singh, Imran Shah, Jamie Tan, Jared Kong, Jonathan Yuen, Joshua Chambers, Judith Huang, Kenneth Paul Tan, Kevin Siew, Kevin Teo, Khee Shihui, Kirpal Singh, Lee Min Xuan, Lim Hui Min, Loo Pei Fen, Lucinda Law, Mikhail Filippov, Nurul Amillin Hussain, Ong Ker-Shing, Rai Kannu, Rebecca Chew, Rufaihah Abdul Jalil, Sharon Tan, Shaun Mathew, Sherry Sherqueshaa, Tan Shin Bin, Teo You Yenn, Varun Soni, Yong Yoek Ling
• • •ISBN 978-981-11-7718-7
Dimension: 155mm x 215mm
Published by: The Birthday Collective